Nonprofit Law & Governance group for representation in all aspects of nonprofit corporate, tax, regulatory, and charitable trust law. Our clients include educational, healthcare, human service, environmental, arts, philanthropic, advocacy, trade, and professional organizations throughout the U.S. and abroad.
As a full-service firm, Burns & Levinson is able to support nonprofit clients with guidance on nonprofit employment practices and benefits, real estate leasing and conveyancing, litigation, intellectual property protection and licensing, estate planning, and private asset management. Clients seeking to increase the efficacy of their philanthropy often come to us to strategize plans for trusts and endowments.
Forming a nonprofit can be a rewarding and fulfilling experience, but navigating the maze of legal regulations can be a daunting task. Your focus should be on the mission and purpose. Burns & Levinson can provide all the legal guidance you need for formation and incorporation, obtaining tax-exempt status and the appropriate classification of your organization, structuring leadership and boards, advising on corporate practices and recordkeeping, loans and bond issues, conflict of interest policies, liability and insurance, regulatory compliance and annual reporting, mergers and affiliations, and plans for corporate dissolution.
Along with 501(c)(3) status comes many regulations regarding financial management and compliance. Our tax attorneys can assist with annual corporate, tax and informational filings. Clients also come to us to consult on financial statements financial matters and fundraising, grant, and program accounting. This often includes the implementation and management of nonprofit accounting software and charts of accounts.
Once you are classified as a tax-exempt organization, there are a number of day-to-day legal questions you may face. Burns & Levinson can save you valuable time by providing guidance on maintaining your qualifications and operating standards, lobbying and political activities, grant-making practices, executive compensation, intermediate sanctions, public charity support tests and qualification, private foundation rules and regulations, taxation of unrelated business income, corporate sponsorships and annual reporting.
Many organizations have intellectual property assets without realizing it. It is always a good idea to have an experienced attorney protect your names, logos, trademarks, copyrights, patents, research, business methods, work processes and trade secrets. Our team is also experienced with licensing and royalty agreements, private vs. organizational ownership of intellectual property, and confidentiality, non-competition and non-solicitation agreements.
Supporting a beloved cause is rewarding in many ways. Our nonprofit team provides targeted assistance with charitable gifts, contributions and deductibility. Creating an endowment is one way to ensure your support continues; we can make sure you are well advised on their creation, use, management and policies. You can also create donor gift instruments including restricted and outright gifts, donor advised funds, and board designated funds. Burns & Levinson can also assist with the modification of charitable trusts (under the doctrine of cy pres).